Category Archives: General

Top spa retreats around Australia

Let us take you on a tour of beauty around Australia this Valentine’s Day.

 

spa-retreats-australia-Peppers-Cradle-Mountain-Lodge-Women's Health and Fitness magazine

Whether you fancy a cut and polish or want to reset in a luxe retreat admist Balinese gardens, we’ve found a spa to suit.

Tour of Beauty Australia Victoria

 

Tour of Beauty Australia New South Wales

 

Tour of beauty Australia Queenland

 

Tour of beauty Australia ACT

 

Tour of beauty Australia South Australia

 

Tour of beauty Australia Tasmania

 

Tour of beauty Australia

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HomeFitnessWorkoutsHow to get abs like Megan Fox
How to get abs like Megan Fox
Want sculpted abs like actress Megan Fox? PT Natalie Carter shows us how
Megan Fox’s ab workout – Women’s Health & Fitness
Hot how-to:
For an enviable ab region – is that Megan Fox by the canoe hire van? – perform these exercises three times per week, along with the thighs and arms workouts.

Clean eating tip:
What you put into your mouth is going to matter, especially if you want visible abs. treat your body as a temple. Minimise alcohol, caffeine and processed foods – especially sugar. Your body will thank you!

Prone roll out using a Swiss ball (core/back)
1. Start by kneeling on the floor, with forearms and elbows on top of the Swiss ball. You should be balancing most of your body weight on the ball. Draw your navel into your spine and tuck pelvis under (so your butt isn’t sticking out) .
2. Slowly roll ball out with your forearms and elbows. Hold until you feel your abs tighten.
3. Engage your back (lat) muscles and slowly return to start position.

How many: Three sets of 12 reps.

SEE VIDEO: Swiss ball crunches (abs)
1. Sit on top of the ball and lie back until your lower back and mid back is supported by the ball’s surface.
2. Perform a crunch (rolling up) movement. Draw your navel deep into your spine and try not to use your neck when crunching.
3. Hold for three seconds and slowly roll down back to the start position.

How many: Three sets of 12 reps.

SEE VIDEO: Side plank
1. Lie on your left side, hips stacked on top of one another, and engage your navel to your spine.
2. Position your shoulder so it is under your elbow.
3. Push up on your elbow, lifting hips off the floor and hold. Watch that your hips don’t drop. Hold for 45 seconds each side.

How many: Repeat three times.

Next: Get Cameron Diaz’s arms or use our handy online calculator to find out your BMI and ideal weight.

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Peeing patterns – what’s normal?

Get up twice as often as your cubicle neighbour, or never feel the call of nature? We decode your peeing patterns and uncover ways to wee better. (Go ahead, laugh, but you’ll thank us later.)

What is urine and where does it come from?

Urine is a waste product. Your kidneys – one on each side of your abdomen – are constantly filtering out waste. They send this waste fluid down two small tubes called ureters to your bladder (you only have one of those). Once your bladder’s ‘full’ – or feels full – you get the urge to wee.

There’s a little valve at the base of the bladder called the urinary sphincter that is usually shut. When you’re ready to pass urine, that sphincter relaxes, allowing your wee to flow through a tube called the urethra out of your body. And voila, it’s all systems go.

How much can your bladder hold?
According to Dr Yik Lim, consultant urogynaecologist at Melbourne’s Mercy Hospital for Women, the amount of urine your bladder can hold depends on how old you are: the older the person, the smaller their bladder capacity.

“For instance, I would expect a young 30-year-old woman to be able to hold 500 to 600 ml with relative ease. But if they get up to age 80, it’s probably around the 300 ml mark,” he says. However, your bladder capacity also depends on how tall you are: “So a five-foot-tall person would have a smaller bladder than a six-foot-tall person.”

What colour should my wee be?
Pee comes in almost as many shades as Pantone swatches, but the colour selection for normal wee is relatively small. In fact, the hue of your urine hints at how healthy your body is and can serve as an SOS. For instance, it shouldn’t be red (although, if you’ve just eaten two beetroot sambos, don’t think you’re bleeding to death, it’s just the natural dye). If you’re not taking any medication or multivitamins, Dr Lim says wee should be a “nice clear yellowish colour”. Multivitamins can turn your pee more fluoro than a Hang Five t-shirt (or neon Top Shop skinnies for the ’90s kids) due to an overload of B vitamin riboflavin, which tends to make a bright exit (good problems; you know your body’s getting rid of what it doesn’t need). If it’s dark yellow or deep orange you may be dehydrated, Dr Lim says. If you haven’t eaten beetroot, are not on your period and see red, see your GP. There shouldn’t be blood in there.

How many times?

Dr Lim says that depends on a number of factors, including your age and size. It also depends on how much fluid you’re drinking, and how much urine you pass each time you go. “So if a person goes to the toilet 10 times a day but they drink five litres of fluid a day, then on average you’re looking at 500 ml per [wee], which would be quite normal as far as I was concerned. Whereas if a person only drinks 500ml of water a day and goes to the toilet 10 times a day, you would be a bit more worried.” As a general rule, he says, “You’d probably like to see people going to the toilet when they have anywhere from 200 to 400 ml in the bladder.”

While measuring the amount of urine your produce (you know, by weeing into a measuring jug for instance) would tell you exactly how much urine you’re expelling, we don’t expect you to do that. Instead, Dr Lim says, in general you should probably not need to pass urine more than eight times during the day and more than once overnight.

Does timing matter?
In a word, yes. There’s an ideal wee window. Passing urine ‘just in case’ is a bit like cutting a ton of calories just in case the recommended deficit doesn’t make you lose weight. Soon enough you’ve trained your body that that’s the way it is and once it’s adapted you run into all sorts of problems. Just as metabolism adapts to how much you eat, your bladder can be ‘taught’ how much urine it should hold before feeling full and needing to go, says Dr Lim. So if you’re going ‘just in case’, you’re training your bladder to become smaller, just as you’d train your body to survive on less food.

As a result, your bladder will be able to hold less fluid, meaning lots of extra dashes to the loo. “What I tell my patients is if you don’t stretch the bladder up over time it may not hold as much [urine] as you like,” explains Dr Lim.

But going too late is not a good idea either, says Dr Lim. This is because leaving urine in your bladder for ages makes you more likely to develop a urinary tract infection (UTI). There’s no medal for putting up with it until you think you’re going to burst, so find a bathroom and go. “If a person is holding on to a litre in the bladder, you wouldn’t want them to hold any longer,” Dr Lim says. The solution, he says, is simple: “You should only go when you need to.” Who’d have thought, right?

Why do I leak during pump class?
So much for being an old person’s problem. Little accidents after the gym, during Seinfeld or when you’ve got a cold are more common in 30-somethings than you might think. According to Tena, one in four women over 35 have weak bladders, with pregnancy and childbirth key contributors.

If you’ve got tikes you’ll know what we’re talking about. But there are other factors favouring incontinence in your skinny-jean years.

Incontinence, or leakage, falls into two distinct camps: urge incontinence (sudden and frequent urges to wee even when your bladder’s not full) and stress incontinence (a trickle when you see George confront the Soup Nazi or sneeze). The former owes to involuntary bladder muscle spasms while the latter indicates a weak sphincter muscle in the bladder.

Think of the sphincter like a door that can be opened by exercise, laughing, sneezing and coughing (might want to re-think the comedy festival). Smokers and allergy sufferers are particularly susceptible with all that coughing and sneezing.

What’s your weakness?

  • Do you wake to wee more than once a night?
  • Do you go more than eight times a day?
  • Do you experience frequent UTIs?
  • Have you got a neurological condition, kidney disease, diabetes, bladder stones or tumours?

It’s probably: urge incontinence.

  • Have you had an injury to that area?
  • Do you have chronic bronchitis or asthma?
  • Have you given birth naturally?
  • Have you had pelvic surgery?

It’s probably: stress incontinence

Both incontinence incarnations have myriad treatment options, so talk to your GP.

Is there an ideal loo technique?

Even though you’ve been doing it for years, you may be surprised to know there is a ‘best position’ for sitting on the loo. Dr Lim advises having your feet flat on the floor, your bottom on the toilet seat and your body leaning slightly forward. He says it’s super important not to hover over the seat either – even if you’re at a public toilet.

“Research has shown that when you hover and not sit on the toilet seat you may retain up to 30 per cent of the bladder volume inside,” he explains. This is because you need to relax your pelvic muscles in order to empty your bladder properly, and hovering over a seat stops you from fully relaxing.

And don’t get too strung out about cooties. “People need to understand they’re very unlikely to catch a sexually transmitted infection [STI] from a public toilet… The reality is the bacteria is unlikely to survive very long on the ceramic toilet seat,” Dr Lim says. When you’re at a public toilet, he recommends cleaning the toilet seat. “And then maybe cover it with toilet paper and just sit comfortably so you can empty the bladder effectively.” Got it?

How can I keep my bladder healthy?

“The important thing is to have a good healthy daily fluid intake,” says Dr Lim. He says this is best achieved by drinking 1.5 to two litres of water a day. He advises steering clear of too many caffeinated drinks (including tea, coffee and caffeine-filled soft drinks), saying that more than three or four cups of coffee a day can ‘irritate’ the bladder and have a diuretic effect (meaning you end up weeing more often).

I think I have a bladder infection. What should I do?

If it burns when you pass urine, you have blood in your wee, you feel like you need to go all the time (even if you’ve just been) or you’re only passing small amounts of fluid really often, you may have a urinary tract infection [UTI]. UTIs are so common that, according to Better Health Channel, an estimated one in two women will experience one in their lifetime.

The reason women are so much more prone to these infections than men is because the tube that leads to the bladder (the urethra) is really short in females – being only about four centimetres long. Consequently, bugs from the outside don’t have far to travel to reach the bladder.

If you think you have a UTI, see your GP pronto, as left untreated it can travel to your kidneys and cause a more severe infection.

Author: Dr Evelyn Lewin

NEXT: Colon cleansing for weight loss>>

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891 30 minute full body workout

30-minute full body workout

Kick-start your morning with this full body workout. Head to the gym, step outside or do it from the comfort of your own home!

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Outdoor full body circuit

Five minute warm up jog: Do as many laps around a park or oval as required.
Two minutes of bench stepups: As fast as you can alternating legs each step
12-15 bench dips
12-15 on the monkey bars or pullups
30 second abdominal hold
40 walking lunges: 20 steps in one direction, then turn around and lunge back
12-15 bench pushups
Repeat as many times as possible, including the five minute run between sets

 

Gym full body circuit

Five minutes on the bike
20 power squats: As fast as you can
Five minute rower sprint
20 pushups: Starting on your toes, dropping to your knees if needed
Six minute treadmill sprint
Stomach super-sets: 15 full situps followed by 15 small crunches

 

Push/pull leg cardio

Four minute sprint on your choice of cardio: Cross-trainer, treadmill, bike etc.
10 chest presses or pushups
10 triceps dips
10 bicep curls: With a bar or dumbbells
Repeat two to three sets of all of the weights: Take no longer than six minutes in total.
Five minutes sprint on cardio machine of choice
20 squats
20 lunges
20 situps
Again, aim for two to three sets in six minutes
Four minute sprint on cardio machine of choice
12-15 lat pulldown or seated row
30 second abdominal bridge
Aim for two to three sets of these resistance training exercises

 

All over body cardio and weights

250 skips
12-15 squats to calf raises: Do this by extending the upwards phase of the squat and rolling up onto the balls of your feet into a calf raise
250 running stepups: Use a small step, no higher than one foot
10 moving planks: Begin by holding an abdominal bridge for 20 seconds. Push off your elbows onto your hands into a pushup position. Stay off the floor on your toes. Then return to the pushup position and repeat.
20 burpies: Start in a squatted position on the ground. First, push off from the arms, stretching out your legs behind you. Then, quickly jump back into the starting position and immediately jump up, stretching your arms above your head. When you land, go directly back into the squat position and repeat.
20 crunches: With hands behind your head and feet off the floor
Repeat as many times as possible in 30 minutes: Keep rest intervals short and push yourself to the limits. It doesn’t have to be a long workout, just an intense one.

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Aesthetic appeal: how activewear JAGGAD came about

 

We chat with the creative director of JAGGAD Michelle Greene on how it all began and key design features that are making them stand out in the activewear market.

 

ON HOW IT ALL STARTED

I first got involved when my husband and I purchased JAGGAD along with great friends Chris and Rebecca Judd in 2013. I came on board as the creative director in 2015, when the company changed its focus from triathlon and cycling gear to athletic apparel. I work closely with our head designer Georgie Pizaro to design garments that deliver both freedom and support when and where it’s needed, and always expressed through beautiful styling. The company has grown significantly in the last 18 months with the opening of stores in Brighton and Armadale, a growing online presence and recent capsule collections with J’aton and Rebecca Judd. We are currently developing some new fabrics and shapes to broaden our offering in tights in 2018.

ON TARGET MARKETS

We design our activewear for any person engaging in an active and healthy lifestyle; we want to empower our community and have them live with confidence. We are not telling them to run faster, push harder or jump higher – instead, we are here to support them on their journey. The ability to perform in any activity in our garments is a must, whether it is going for a walk with your friends, group training, or running a marathon.

ON KEY DESIGN FEATURES

JAGGAD Power Compression is Italian made and buttery soft to wear. It has two-way stretch for increased flexibility, and fits like a second skin without being see-through, thanks to the high density fine yarn. Compression helps with improved blood flow, muscular support and rapid post-exercise recovery. JAGGAD Signature High Support printed tights have a lux appeal with a soft sheen.

We use JAGGAD Merino Tech across a range of our tops, which helps to regulate body temperature, and are moisture wicking (no odour), breathable and lightweight. The wool is a natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre.

ON LOOKIN’ GOOD

We have some really strict design pillars at JAGGAD when it comes to colour palette, prints and shapes. We also take inspiration from global fashion trends and infuse it into our design DNA. We appreciate that no two women have the exact same body shape, so we provide a variety of lengths, waistbands and fabrics throughout our range.  We only create engineered prints on our tights rather than a yardage (all over), which means we can control the placement of colours and patterns on the body to create the most flattering design. Placement of panels and lines are always designed with the aim to elongate the legs and give shape where needed. 

 

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7 days to ultimate health with Tegan Haining

 

With the help of the author of The 7 Day Quickie and personal trainer Tegan Haining, we’ve come up with an approach to the week-long kickstart. 

Haining’s book is a simple yet detailed guide to seven days of health and fitness that combines a balanced diet with a more active lifestyle.

Nourishing food and drinks

Haining says simple, nourishing food is key to incorporating good food habits into your lifestyle. Throughout the seven days, meals should be built around a palm-sized portion of protein (such as chicken, fish, organic grass-fed red meat, eggs, quinoa or tempeh), two cups of vegetables and a thumb-sized portion of healthy fats (such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado or nuts). When it comes to carbohydrates, Haining includes nutrient-dense carbohydrates in her plan but advises to add them last.

“Carbohydrates are part of The 7 Day Quickie but we have brown rice instead of white rice, sweet potato instead of potato or rye toast with almond butter instead of white toast with jam, so the general person wouldn’t feel deprived eating this way,” says Haining.

Choose your vegetables wisely by including carrots, cauliflower, beetroot or pumpkin on your plate and you get your carb hit simultaneously. To get the most out of your week, drop all processed foods, sugar (if you fancy something sweet Haining suggests low sugar fruit such as blueberries, green apples or ruby red grapefruits) and pre-packaged food.

For liquids, maximise your water intake and aim for two litres daily. For caffeine lovers, Haining says one coffee per day before 2pm is fine. But for those keen on a glass of red, the news isn’t good.

“Having a glass of wine in the evening really affects my sleep pattern because the liver often detoxes around 3am in the morning. This is when you want to be getting that rejuvenating sleep, not detoxing the glass of wine or bad food from the day before,” says Haining. “Without an evening wine, I find I wake up before my alarm clock and feel really good. So give it a try for one week and notice what it does to your morning motivation.”

Exercise smart

If you think the seven-day period of amazingness means you’ll be smashing yourself in the gym two hours every day, think again. Haining believes a balanced approach achieves the best results, including two rest days.

“The people who give themselves rest days and time to allow their lean muscle mass to develop actually become more efficient at fat burning than those constantly running on the treadmill,” says Haining. “Yes, they’re burning fat, but they’re burning muscle too, and their cortisol is very high and they’re stressed…it’s not an ideal way to get a happy life at the same time.”

Instead, factor in two days of strength or resistance training, two days of interval training and a day or two of gentle yoga stretches over the week. Instead of leg or arm days, Haining recommends whole body workouts that work the front and back for ideal posture.

“Work the front and then the back of your body so you’ve got nice posture, balance the upper and lower body exercises, work both pushing and pulling movements so we don’t get any rounded shoulder positioning that produces tightness in the chest – all of these are factors to consider,” says Haining. “Focus on a balanced, flexible and strong body – be really mindful of tightness because that’s where injury starts.”

Sleep

The importance of sleep this week (and always) cannot be underestimated. When we get less than eight hours of quality sleep, our body produces the hormone ghrelin, making us crave foods (especially sugar) and our hunger is often insatiable. On the flipside, a decent eight-hour sleep produces the hormone leptin, which increases satiety, reducing the urge to overeat.

“It’s often the most challenging thing for my clients when I talk about going to bed at 10pm. They think I’m from Mars, but it makes such a difference,” says Haining. “One of the models I trained in London couldn’t shift weight from around her waistline and when we looked at her sleep, she wasn’t ever going to bed before 1am. As soon as we got her to bed at 10pm, she lost that layer.”

The magic time between 10pm and 6am, working with the sun, seems to be the ideal sleep format to prevent us reaching for stimulants the next morning.

“When we’ve had a good night’s sleep, everything else flows from there,” says Haining. “We’ll make better food choices and we might be a little bit happier about going to the gym. A bad night’s sleep messes with our mindset, and positivity is what gets us through the day and kicking goals!”

Self-care

When you’re exercising hard plus eating lighter and healthier than ever, you may find some sore muscles and detoxing symptoms are the result in the first few days. Haining says self-care over the week is crucial to staying on track.

“Choose one wellness factor, whether it be going for a massage, going to a sauna or a feelgood thing you wouldn’t usually do on one of your regeneration days,” suggests Haining. “Day six is good because you’re nearly at the end of the week, you might have detoxed and be feeling a bit average, so give your body some extra love. Even an Epsom salt bath for half an hour at home will feel really good on sore, tired muscles.”

For a daily hit of love, Haining is a firm believer in the power of affirmations, twisting any negative thoughts around.

“Affirmations are a huge thing in my life and they really work,” she says. “If you’re feeling negative about something, you have to change your thinking, which might involve writing down a positive flip on that thought, such as ‘How am I ever going to get through these seven days’ and turn it around to ‘I can’t wait to feel how good I’m going to feel after these seven days’. Write it down and put it on your fridge or on your phone as a daily alert; just constantly remind yourself.”

 

Pros & Cons

Pros

Seven days is achievable for anyone and Haining’s The 7-Day Quickie caters for all fitness levels and most taste buds. The balanced approach with carefully thought out nutrition alongside a mixture of exercise means you are unlikely to feel hungry or exhausted during this plan and, by the end, your energy levels will only increase. While Haining is reluctant to mention a number on the scales as everyone is different, she says people will lose a layer and gain a flatter tummy. Without alcohol and processed foods, your sleep pattern should improve, which means you’ll look fresher and experience better moods.

Cons

Whenever we go full throttle and deprive ourselves of favourite foods, there’s the possibility of backlash once we reach the finish life. Haining says slips are part of being human and if you fall off the wagon on day eight, don’t sweat it.

“I worked with James Duigan for so many years and his motto or mantra is to be kind to yourself – which I so agree with. At the end of the day, you might have the worst eating day of your life on day eight after the program,” says Haining. “Drink your wine and eat your chocolate but know on day nine you can go back and do the quickie again for seven days and you’ll feel great. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a day of bad eating, it’s when you have a bad couple of years of eating that we have a problem. Be kinder to yourself: it’s more important to feel happy and enjoy life, and not feel as though you’re being deprived of anything so you can maintain longevity.”

 

 

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5 ways to become more thankful in your daily life

 

Focus on what you have with these top tips on how to be more thankful – trust us, you’ll thank us for it! Madeleine Neale writes.

 

1. Use a gratitude diary to reflect on the wonderful things in your life: relationships, financial freedoms, professional opportunities, personal strengths, physical health and wellbeing. “Re-evaluate and reflect on your entries,”  says educational and development psychologist Stephanie Lau. “I like to do this with the change of each new season to track my personal and professional development.”

2. Make sure to notice the little things in life. Example: ‘I’m grateful for the softness of my sheets’, ‘I loved that I found a parking spot straight away’, ‘I’m thankful for this perfectly ripe avocado ready for my breakfast’.

3. Don’t avoid the negative. This may seem counteractive but remembering the bad things that have happened can help us feel more positive about where we are now. If you can look back and think of the worst times in your life, then remember that you made it through and survived, you will be able to push forward and feel more thankful for what’s happening in the present. “Sometimes, circumstances may be difficult and it cannot always be possible to look on the sunny side and express gratitude for things that aren’t going well,” says Lau. “Developing an objective outlook and recognising where change is required is part of a balanced approach to social and emotional problem solving, and is helpful and healthy.”

4. Share gratitude by telling someone how they have made a positive contribution to your life and what you are grateful for. This could be done in person, via email or why not try the old-fashioned way and write down your feelings in a thank you card.

5. Daily micro-reflections: reflect on one good thing that has happened each day to use gratitude to increase feelings of positivity and happiness.

Founder and CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute, Pedro Diaz believes the best way to feel more grateful is to practise daily and use the positive feelings as motivation. “The more you practise gratitude, the more the parts of your brain that scan for good things in life get activated, while those parts of your brain that look for negative things shrink. In a literal sense, a brain trained in gratitude loses some of its ability for negativity and permanently gains the benefits that come from a more optimistic outlook,” he says.

For Lau, simple acts can enhance our general wellbeing and assist in stress management. “For example, by embracing a positive outlook and reflecting on the things we can be grateful for, we are less likely to adopt negative thinking patterns which bias the way we interpret our environment, relationships and daily stressors. By controlling our thoughts and developing positive, helpful thinking patterns, we can improve our overall feelings of happiness.”

 

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How to beat a weight loss plateau

 

You’re doing everything right but your weight loss has come to a grinding halt? We asked nutritionist, trainer and founder of Balance Fitness & Nutrition to share her insights on how to get results again. 

Signs:

Weight loss plateaus can be frustrating, particularly if you are closely following your nutrition and training plan. Despite eating and moving well, signs of a dieting plateau include:

» Weight loss stalled or an increase in weight

» Feeling hungrier

» Low energy levels

» Poor recovery and/or sleep quality

Causes:

Essentially, dieting plateaus are caused by our body’s ability to adapt to the way they are fuelled and moved. Usually plateaus occur due to:

» Undereating and/or inappropriate macronutrient profile to meet your training and daily energy requirements.

» Overtraining and/or consistently moving your body in the same
way, regularly.

» Inadequate rest, recovery and stress: when we don’t get enough sleep our bodies produce cortisol, which leads to fat retention and storage, lethargy and irritability.

During weight loss you impose a caloric deficit, either by increasing exercise or decreasing food intake. Through this deficit you begin to lose body mass – and when muscle mass declines, so too does your metabolism. These are indicators that energy supply is low and your body adapts to energy restrictions accordingly: there is a decrease in hormones that promotes anabolism, energy expenditure and satiety (fullness) and a rise in hormones that promotes catabolism and hunger.

How to get results again:

Keeping your body guessing is key, as our bodies crave efficiency.

Mix up your meals. Do you have the same meal at the same time every day? Try carbohydrate and/or calorie cycling of higher, moderate and lower days. Opt for a higher carb day when you train legs or perform HIIT and lower carbs, higher fats on LISS/rest days. Rotating food choices helps ensure your metabolism doesn’t adjust to a specific diet regimen; because there is no sustained calorie restriction, your body doesn’t adjust its metabolism or start catabolising lean muscle tissue as it would on a sustained low-calorie diet.

Increase your calories: A calorie deficit is generally needed to lose weight, but not in all cases. You may actually need to increase your overall calories to continue burning them in order to preserve muscle mass and your metabolism. Your body will learn that food is abundant and won’t try to hoard it for starvation mode.

Prioritise protein:  Up your protein intake or incorporate a source of protein into each meal. This macronutrient has a higher thermic effect than fats and carbs, so your body has to work harder to digest it. Protein assists in the retention of lean muscle mass (metabolism), protein synthesis, satiety between meals and muscle recovery.

Training – shake & strengthen it up: Studies have found that strength training helps people shed more fat than cardio while boosting their metabolism by increasing muscle mass. Aim for a minimum of two to three strength sessions each week. If you already strength train, mix it up by using a combination of supersets, tri-sets and circuits to keep the intensity of the sessions high. Overall duration should be short to moderate and serve as a HIIT-style resistance workout. If you run 5km every day, try adding in a day of sprints. Keeping your sessions short but intense helps to utilise your anaerobic training zones and leads to greater excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.

Rest and recovery: If overtraining is the cause of your plateau, it may be time to add in a taper week or two. Prioritising sleep will help balance insulin resistance, regulate cortisol, and decrease leptin.

Check your portions: Are you really consuming the serving sizes you thought? Try and be more mindful of how much you are putting on your plate.

 

Plateau or happy place?

Lastly, consider whether you have REALLY plateaued and whether your training and nutrition has been as good as you say it has. If you feel you’ve reached one, take time to reflect, but also consider whether it is a plateau or, rather, your ideal weight. The numbers on the scales may have stalled, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t improving on areas of your strength, fitness and mindset. Try using a combination of how your clothes fit, measurements and fitness checks (60 second max tests or a simple 3 minute AMRAP) to track and re-check your progress. After all, the scales are just a number.

 

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Alexa Towersey’s resistance training workout

Resistance training targets the full body with particular emphasis on the posterior chain and core for both strength and physique shape and allows you to work towards YOUR own objective by having targeted options with both your rep range and load.

 

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It also provides exercises designed to challenge your grip, in addition to providing some of the progressions needed to achieve a pull-up.

The HIIT component is representative of Jenna’s ALL IN program. It is designed to challenge your strength, power, coordination and overall fitness, with the metabolic requirement of high reps, moderate load and minimal rest raising your heart rate as quickly as possible and keeping it elevated for up to 36 hours post workout.

The active rest and recovery component is highly recommended – not only as a stress management tool, but also to allow you enough time between workouts so that you can perform at your best. For both increased fat loss and muscle repair, in addition to supporting all the detoxification channels that may have been overworked over the holidays, I recommend power walking, foam rolling, infrared sauna and epsom salts baths.  Supplementing with a pharmaceutical-grade magnesium is also suggested.

 

This workout consists of a standalone EMOM, followed by two supersets.

EMOM stands for ‘every minute on the minute’. The beauty of this format is that you can structure the rep range and load of the EMOM to target your own specific goals.

If you’re an advanced lifter, know your one rep max (1RM), and if you want to opt for pure strength and no advance in muscle size, aim for three reps with an exertion level of 8/10.

If you’re a beginner to intermediate lifter and want to aim for more strength and minimal size, aim for five reps and an exertion level of 6–7/10.

If you’re a beginner lifter and prefer to stick to lighter weights for form OR you want to aim for fat loss with a little lean muscle gain, then aim for 10 reps with an exertion level of 5/10. You should be able to complete all 10 reps for all 10 sets at the same weight – so don’t be a hero by trying to go too heavy!

Perform each exercise for the reps/time that are prescribed.  Where there is a superset [e.g. C1 & C2], perform the exercises one after the other with no rest in between. After you have completed the superset, rest 30 seconds. Complete three to five rounds before moving on to the next superset. To progress these workouts, you can increase the load (heavier weights), the time under tension (slow it down), and/or the volume (add a set each week).

NOTE: you should never sacrifice FORM for load, time or volume.

 

 

Model: Alexa Towersey (@actionalexa)

 

Photography: Jason Lee // @jasonminilee

Location: 98 Riley Street Gym // 98gym.com // @98rileystgym

Wearing: styling by StyleRunner // @stylerunner

 

Alexa wears: Top by Heroine Sport, tights by Lilybod

 


 

 

A1

Barbell Glute Bridge EMOM – goal-dependent rep range (3,5 or 10). Complete required amount of reps every minute on the minute for 10 minutes (so 10 sets in total).

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Feet need to be set up in line with the sit bones: so align the hip bone, knee and 2/3rd toe. Place a towel or mat across the front of the hips underneath the barbell.  Drive your hips up to the ceiling, squeezing the glutes. Keep a slight posterior pelvic tilt throughout to make sure you are using the glutes rather than the lower back. If you struggle to engage the glutes, pop a band around your knees, lift the toes and even turn your feet slightly out.

 

NOTE: 2 mins rest after EMOM to start first superset

 

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B1

10 x barbell romanian deadlift into bent-over row

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Feet hip-distance apart, hold the bar in front of your thighs. Pin the shoulders back and keep them set throughout.  The RDL part of the movement is initiated by a hip hinge (imagine you’re shutting a car door with your butt) – as your hips go back, the upper body naturally comes forward.  Come to a position where your upper body is almost parallel with the floor, then perform the bent-over row, pulling to the bottom rib with elbows squeezing in. Drive through the heels to come up and squeeze the glutes at the top.

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NOTE: If you struggle to keep your shoulders back throughout, you can perform this movement with an underhand grip.

 


 

 

B2

30-sec dead hang

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With hands just wider than shoulder distance, hang from a pull-up bar using an overhand grip. Note: make sure you wrap your thumb around the bar and focus on gripping hard. Let your shoulders shrug up to your ears.

NOTE: Rest 2 mins before next superset

 


 

 

C1

10 x rack hold step-ups

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Hold two kettlebells in front of the body with the inside of your wrists touching.  Plant your top foot on a box and focus on engaging your glutes and hamstrings to pull you up through the heel, as opposed to pushing too much with the bottom leg. Keep the top leg elevated for all of the reps, then switch sides.   

 

 


 

C2

10 x knee tucks

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Set yourself up in a plank position with your shins and the top of your feet on a Swissball, hands directly underneath the shoulders. Initiate the movement from the lower abs by lifting your hips towards the ceiling as you draw your knees in towards your chest.  Lower with control and repeat. To avoid dropping through the lower back, keep your glutes tight and your abdominals drawn in to the spine throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

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